Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter - Organic

Wolaver's Coffee Porter possesses many qualities of a Brown Porter with adjuncts. This beer is "brewed with organic roasted barley and chocolate malts for a rich, dark and robust flavor with an infusion of organic vanilla beans, and coffee from the Dominican Republic farm community of Alta Gracia." Enjoy.

Alcohol Content: ?
Malts: Roasted Barley, Chocolate, ?
Hops: ?

Medium: 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass
Price: $17.00 for a 12-pack Wolaver's sampler

Aroma: A nice mild roastiness is dominated by a mocha character with hints of vanilla bean. Hop aroma is completely out of the question because of the intense coffee aroma. Also, there is an infusion of bitter chocolate aroma that finishes.
Appearance: Poured for a thin mocha head with very little retention and minimal lacing (I'm not sure I cleaned the glass properly which may have played a role in this). Color is dark brown with ruby highlights. It was a little hazy and somewhat opaque; however, when tilted it was decently clear - this is also when the ruby highlights really came out. Carbonation thus far is hard to say for sure.
Flavor: A strong coffee and vanilla bean character dominates this beer from start to finish with a nice bitterness that comes into play about mid-taste. I'm not sure as to whether this bitterness is from the hops or coffee (similar to drinking black coffee). A lingering bitterness in the finish with a cocoa character. The roasted qualities outweigh any sweetness in the beginning, which leads me to think this beer is a little more balanced towards the bitter side.
Mouthfeel: A little watery (like drinking black coffee). This rather light-bodied ale contains a minimal degree of lingering harshness as well - possibly some alcohol warmth or due to a similar off-flavor?
Overall Impression: I have recently used vanilla bean in a batch of homebrew and this porter definitely presents this quality in a strong way. Brewed by Otter Creek, this is probably one of their finest treats. Perfect for that after-meal "coffee" (or a hangover if you must).

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